Bundaberg residents, you have $37 million in unclaimed super

BUNDABERG locals are missing out on more than $37 million in lost superannuation, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

This includes more than 4800 lost accounts with an average value of $7759.

Many in Bundaberg's surrounding areas also have lost super to find, with residents in nearby Hervey Bay having more than $27 million across 3484 accounts.

Deputy commissioner for superannuation Alison Lendon said Australians are missing out on claiming their own money.

"If you found $50 in the pocket of your old coat, it would make your day. But 1.9 million Australians have an average of $8368 waiting to be found and claimed - which is a lot more than a forgotten banknote.

"Finding your lost super and rolling it into your active super fund could give your retirement savings a significant boost.

"And thanks to recent reforms to super, it's easier than ever to find and claim your own money."

Ms Lendon said the ATO is the first port of call for residents of Bundaberg who are keen to find their super.

"Using SuperSeeker, which is part of our online services, makes it easy to find lost and ATO-held monies," she said.

"You can register online to view all your super accounts, see details of any lost super accounts or super the ATO is holding for you and arrange to transfer it to your preferred super account, using a simple online form.

"What's more, if you are making a fund-to-fund transfer, it will generally now only take three working days. It's an easy way to reduce unnecessary fees and make the most of your retirement savings."

Since May 31, 2013, any small amounts of lost superannuation of up to $2000 was transferred from super funds to the ATO, which will hold this money until you claim it, to protect it from being eroded by fees and charges.

The ATO will also pay interest at a rate equivalent to Consumer Price Index when you reclaim these savings.

In addition to the changes to SuperSeeker, these other improvements made to super by the Australian Government last year will help make it easier for individuals to save for the future.

Some of the key changes include:

  • An increase in the rate of employer super guarantee contributions from 9% to 9.25% from July 1, 2013.
  • Removal of the upper age limit for compulsory super, so that working Australians can grow their super no matter what their age.
  • If you are 60 years old or over in 2013-14 you can now contribute more to your super, with the concessional (before-tax) super cap increased from $25,000 to $35,000. From 1 July 2014, this will also apply to people who turn 50 years old or over at any time during the 2014-15 financial year.

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